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Bebop Spoken There

Charles Lloyd: "I'm raring to go out to play, because I know I'll find something to explain the inexplicable." (DownBeat August 2022)

The Things They Say!

Hudson Music: Lance's "Bebop Spoken Here" is one of the heaviest and most influential jazz blogs in the UK.

Rupert Burley (Dynamic Agency): "BSH just goes from strength to strength".

'606' Club: "A toast to Lance Liddle of the terrific jazz blog 'Bebop Spoken Here'"

The Strictly Smokin' Big Band included Be Bop Spoken Here (sic) in their 5 Favourite Jazz Blogs.
Ann Braithwaite (Braithwaite & Katz Communications) You’re the BEST! -- Holly Cooper, Mouthpiece Music: "Lance writes pull quotes like no one else!"

Postage

14454 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 14 years ago. 732 of them this year alone and, so far, 30 this month (August 11).

From This Moment On ...

August

Mon 15: Jazz in the Afternoon @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Mon 15: Stu Collingwood Organ Trio @ Black Bull, Blaydon. 8:00pm. Blaydon Jazz Club.

Tue 16: Paul Skerritt @ The Rabbit Hole, Durham. 7:00pm. Free (to reserve a table phone 0191 386 5556).

Wed 17: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Wed 17: Darlington Big Band @ Darlington & Simpson Rolling Mills Club, Darlington. 7:00pm. Rehearsal session (open to the public).
Wed 17: 4B @ The Exchange, North Shields. 7:00pm.
Wed 17: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm.

Thu 18: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, North Tyneside. 1:00pm.
Thu 18: Gateshead Jazz Appreciation Society @ Gateshead Central Library. 3:00-5:00pm. £1.00. All welcome.
Thu 18: Castillo Nuevo @ Revoluçion de Cuba, Newcastle. 5:30-8:30pm.
Thu 18: Newcastle Jazz Festival @ Bridge Hotel, Newcastle. Strictly Smokin’ Big Band. 7:00pm. Free (four-day festival ticket £40.00.). www.newcastlejazzfestival.co.uk.
Thu 18: Tees Hot Club @ Dorman’s Club, Middlesbrough. 9:00pm. Guests: Dave Archbold (keys); Dan Johnson (sax); Josh Bentham (sax); Bill Watson (trumpet); Ron Smith (bass)

Fri 19: Jo Harrop & Jamie McCredie @ Lit & Phil, Newcastle. 1:00pm. SOLD OUT!
Fri 19: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Fri 19: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band @ Oxbridge Hotel, Stockton. 1:00pm. £5.00.
Fri 19: Rendezvous Jazz @ The Monkseaton Arms, Monkseaton. 1:00pm.
Fri 19: Jo Harrop & Jamie McCredie @ St Cuthbert’s Centre, Crook. 7:30pm.
Fri 19: Newcastle Jazz Festival @ Black Swan, Newcastle. 7:30pm. Harry Keeble Duo + Northern Monkey Brass Band. £15.00. (four-day festival ticket £40.00.). www.newcastlejazzfestival.co.uk.
Fri 19: Mo Scott @ The Millstone, South Gosforth, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Scott w Gary Dunn, Neil Harland & Paul Smith.

Sat 20: Newcastle Jazz Festival @ Tyne Bank Brewery, Newcastle. All day event (from 1:30pm): Riviera Effect + Alter Ego + Graham Hardy Quartet + Jo Harrop & Jamie McCredie + Ivo Neame Quartet. £17.00. (four-day festival ticket £40.00.). www.newcastlejazzfestival.co.uk.
Sat 20: Anth Purdy @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Free (donations).

Sun 21 Vieux Carré Hot 4 @ Spanish City, Whitley Bay. 12 noon.
Sun 21: Newcastle Jazz Festival @ Tyne Bank Brewery, Newcastle. All day event (from 1:30pm): Lindsay Hannon & Alan Law + Knats + David Gray’s Flextet + Ben Gilbert Trio + Emma Rawicz. £17.00. (four-day festival ticket £40.00.). www.newcastlejazzfestival.co.uk.
Sun 21: Foundry Jazz Ensemble @ The Exchange, North Shields. 3:00pm.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

A Jazz Christmas Carol @ Ushaw College. Dec 17

(Review by Russell/Photos courtesy of Ken Drew).
County Durham’s jazz fans turned out en masse for this stellar occasion at Ushaw. The ‘never miss’ were joined by the ‘rarely miss’ and ‘others’ swelled audience numbers to such an extent that the majority of seats in the imposing Exhibition Hall were occupied shortly before the eight o’clock start. Alan Barnes’ A Jazz Christmas Carol attracted an audience of hardcore fans, musicians (‘night off’ entered in the diary months ago), and, no doubt, enthusiasts of Charles Dickens.
The Alan Barnes’ All Star Octet was just that – ‘all-star’. Last week’s announcement of this year’s British Jazz Awards (poll winners and the top five) couldn’t have been more opportune. Barnes himself won best clarinet, Mark Nightingale top trombone and Clark Tracey, drums. The other five members of the Octet – Karen Sharp and Robert Fowler, reeds, Bruce Adams, trumpet, Dave Newton, piano and Simon Thorpe, bass – placed in the top five in their respective categories.

Barnes played the part, attired in Victorian night clothes, looking a right old Dickensian! Brandishing a candlestick holder, bandleader Barnes extinguished the flame, the reading would now commence. Spectacles perched, our Dickensian read passages, stopping from time to time as a thought occurred, sharing an idea, an observation, unfailingly hilarious. The jazz? Ah! Music of such quality, the nonchalance of it all masked their mastery. The band members laughed along, whether they were hearing the joke for the first time or the umpteenth. The audience loved it, some scarcely suppressing a giggle in anticipation of a one-liner. Barnes’ long-time sparring partner Bruce Adams, himself a wit, chose to hold his counsel, steadfastly refusing to rise to the bait – Barnes describing a Dickensian feast of turkeys, hams, suckling pigs, and more, looked along the line at the ‘portly’ trumpeter (A Barnes’ description) asking: Has anyone been to lunch at Bruce’s house?

The jazz was superb. The Ghost of Jacob Marley (along with the Ghosts of Christmas, Past, Present and Yet to Come) the musical/literary device linking sections, featuring members of the band/cast. The Start of It heard a three clarinet frontline intro of Barnes, Karen Sharp (later cast as an unlikely Bah Humbug on baritone) and  Robert Fowler. To the left of Barnes stood Sharp and Fowler, then Adams and trombone master Mark Nightingale. Taking the opportunity to extol the talents of one of the world’s great trombone players, Barnes looked at Dave Newton seated to his right and wondered out loud why he wasted his time tinkering at the piano! Hoots of laughter, cue Mark Nightingale, one of the great trombone players.

Picking up the bass clarinet Barnes said: I don’t know what this is, but earlier I caught Dave Newton smoking it. I confiscated it and found I could get a tune out of it!  And how!
The frontline played acoustically. The cavernous Exhibition Hall, with its ornate vaulted roof, posed no problems in projecting the sound. The purring rhythm section (the bearded professorial looking Newton, the smiling bassist Simon Thorpe and the lugubrious award-winning Clark Tracey, drums) offered a master class of its own. And so, we came to The End of It. Barnes closed the book, spectacles to one side, the band went out swinging on  God Bless Us Everyone.

Dickens done, Barnes’ All Star Octet left us with a few Christmas tunes (Bah Humbug!). The Christmas Song, the rhythm section boys soloing by way of introduction on Winter Wonderland and a sprinkling of Blue Monk on Santa Claus is Coming to Town. A five-star entertainment, Merry (Bah Humbug!) Christmas!                                        
Russell.
Alan Barnes (alto sax, clarinet, bass clarinet), Karen Sharp (tenor sax, baritone sax, clarinet), Robert Fowler (tenor sax, baritone sax, clarinet), Bruce Adams (trumpet), Mark Nightingale (trombone), Dave Newton (piano), Simon Thorpe (double bass) & Clark Tracey (drums)

1 comment :

Hugh said...

Summed up artfully, Russell - a great gig; the album is a cracker too AND there is still time for Santa to deliver it to your Christmas stocking! Available for a miserly sum of £10 here: http://www.woodvillerecords.com/A-Jazz-Christmas-Carol.htm

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